Bank heist report not yet, Muhith reaffirms
Finance Minister AMA Muhith reiterated that the probe report on the heist in Bangladesh Bank’s account with the US Federal Reserve Bank wouldn’t be published yet, but expressed the hope that the entire sum would be recovered. But it’ll take time, he said Wednesday about the recovery process on stream through litigation in the Philippines, where most of the reserves reportedly stolen by a trans-national gang of hackers landed. “A portion of the heisted money was recovered already. We will get it (the rest amount), but it will take time,” the finance minister told newsmen. Talking to them after a meeting of the cabinet committee on public procurement at Bangladesh Secretariat, he also said a long process has to be followed to get back the money. Case is under trial there and a judicial permission is necessary in this regard. “But, my assumption is all of it will be recovered,” the minister said in reply to a query. Mr Muhith, however, reaffirmed that the held-back probe report on the heist would not be made public now.
Banks donate Tk 85cr for the flood-hit
Private banks yesterday donated Tk 85 crore to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for rehabilitation of flood-hit people as part of their corporate social responsibility activities. “Banks always stand by the flood-affected people and the victims of other natural disasters. We do it willingly,” said Nazrul Islam Majumder, chairman of the Bangladesh Association of Banks, a forum of the directors of the 39 private banks in the country. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received the funds from the chairmen of the banks at a programme organised by the BAB at the Prime Minister’s Office in the capital. The government has the best network and instruments to distribute the relief funds, which is why the banks handed over the donations to the prime minister’s fund, Majumder said.
Bangladesh keen to sign FTA with Turkey: Tofail
Bangladesh is keen to sign free trade agreement (FTA) with Turkey to boost bilateral trade, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said yesterday. He spoke at the “Turkey-Bangladesh Business Forum and B2B Meeting” in the capital jointly organised by Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Bangladeshi products do not get duty- and quota-free access to the Turkish market as the country is not in European Union, he said. Bangladesh’s export to the Turkey will get a boost if the FTA is signed, he said. He said Bangladeshi products have a good demand in the Turkish market. In 2016-17, Bangladesh exported goods worth $631 million to the Turkey against the import of $212.30 million. The TIM and FBCCI inked a memorandum of understanding to strengthen trade and investment on the occasion. FBCCI’s First Vice President Sheikh Fazle Fahim and Turkish Exporters’ Assembly member of sector council Basaran Bayrak signed the deal.
Export: Bangladesh yet to fully tap Asian markets
Lack of necessary preferential trade agreements and quality products are barring Bangladesh from exploring further. Bangladeshi exports to Asian countries are still low due to absence of proper preferential trade agreements and quality products, even though there are huge trade opportunities in the region. Exporters and trade analysts say that removing non-tariff barriers, signing trade-friendly bilateral agreements and proper usage of preferential trade deals can boost Bangladesh’s exports to the region. They also said that high dependency on developed countries in North America and Europe could risk export earnings. According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, Bangladesh’s exports to Asian countries were worth $4.16bn in FY2016-17, which is 12% of total exports. At the same time, European Union (EU) imported 55.83% ($19.35bn) of Bangladesh’s total exports and the United States 21.19% ($7.34bn).
Govt-run banks hiring 1,663 executives
The government-run banks are appointing 1,663 officials to vacant positions. Sonali Bank will appoint 527 officials, Janata Bank 161, Rupali Bank 283, Bangladesh Development Bank 39, Bangladesh Krishi Bank, 351, and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank 231 officials, according to a Bangladesh Bank notice published on Wednesday. Besides these banks, Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation will appoint one and Investment Corporation of Bangladesh 70 officials. The online application process on Bangladesh Bank’s website started on Wednesday and will continue until Sept 17.
Dhaka Bank credit cardholders to get 0% EMI facilities from Daraz
Dhaka Bank has recently signed an agreement with Daraz Bangladesh, one of largest e-commerce platforms in Bangladesh, under which the bank’s credit cardholders can enjoy 0% EMI offer. With their credit card, shoppers will be able to choose 3 to 12 monthly instalments with absolutely 0% interest while purchasing any product worth of more than Tk10,000. HM Mostafizur Rahaman, SVP & Head of Cards, of Dhaka Bank Ltd. and Mostahidal Haq Managing Director, of Daraz Bangladesh signed the deal from the respective side.
Annual Development Programme (ADP) spending only at 0.58% in July
Progress in implementation of the annual development programme remained on the lower track in the first month of the current fiscal year as 21 ministries and divisions could not spend a single penny in the month, according to the data of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the planning ministry. The government’s 54 ministries and divisions responsible for implementation of the country’s development budget could spend only 0.58% or BDT 9.5 billion in July of the total allocation worth BDT 1,640.85 billion for the entire fiscal year, the IMED data showed. They had spent 0.56% or BDT 6.9 billion in the same month of the last fiscal year. The agency had spent 1-2% in the previous three fiscal years, according to the IMED data. Officials said that the ministries and divisions usually remained indifferent in execution of development works due to various reasons including lack of preparation and delay in appointment of project directors and acquisition of land.
Bangladesh to import 250,000 tonnes rice from Cambodia
Bangladesh will import 250,000 tonnes of white rice at $453.00 a tonne from Cambodia in a government-to-government deal, two food ministry officials said Wednesday, reports Reuters. The price is more expensive than a previous deal. Bangladesh produces around 34 million tonnes of rice annually but uses almost all its production to feed its population, and often requires imports to cope with shortages caused by floods or droughts. The government is building buffer stocks to combat high domestic prices after flash floods in April wiped away around 1.0 million tonnes of rice output, with ongoing floods, more severe, set to destroy more. “The proposal to import rice from Cambodia is currently awaiting approval,” one of the officials said.
Spice prices spiral 110pc as Eid nears
With the sacrificial festival Eid-ul-Azha approaching, prices of most spices have spiralled in the last few weeks despite adequate supply. Traders have attributed the hike to increased import price, heavy rain and bad roads, but observers said prices of spices soared due to market domination by big traders and importers. The prices of spices, used in meat recipe, went up by 10 to 110 per cent in a month, of which onion and chilli witnessed the highest spike, according to traders. Onion witnessed 84-100 per cent, garlic 15 per cent, ginger 20 per cent, green chilli 110, grinded chilli 15 per cent, coriander seed 16 per cent, garam masala like cumin seed by 10 per cent, cardamom 10 per cent, cinnamon 10 per cent, and clove by 12 per cent at retail markets in a month, according to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) and Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM).
Oil import to rise by one-third
The country’s oil import volume as well as payment in this regard is set to surge by one-third from the existing level, said officials. It will happen, as the government has approved awarding of some new diesel and furnace oil-fired power plants with the total capacity of 2,555 megawatts (MW) over the next two years, they added. A senior official of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) said the oil import is expected to increase from March 2018, as some 1,768-MW diesel and furnace oil-fired power plants are expected to come online by then. He assumed that some 650,000 tonnes of diesel and 750,000 tonnes of furnace oil will be required to import for operating the new power plants, of which 800-MW would be of diesel-fired and 968-MW would be of furnace oil-fired.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) to invest BDT 27.40 billion for revival of ailing Bangladesh Railways
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will invest a big sum of money to give a new lease of life to Bangladesh Railway through adding more locomotives, wagons and other equipment. Officials said Tuesday the Manila-based lender is expected to provide BDT 27.40 billion for upgrading the struggling rail operator to meet a surging demand for the popular mode of mass transport. Under a BDT 36.46 billion umbrella project titled ‘Upgrading Bangladesh Railway’s rolling stock operation’, the ADB will provide the funds to the state-owned rail-service provider. The BR reels from a shortage of locomotives (engines), vans and wagons, which makes it lag far behind the requirement for smart operation and passenger services across the country. The government over the last six to seven years has invested huge funds in improving its railway services, which is still a far cry, the sources said.
Midland signs deal with Rolls-Royce to set up 150MW plant
Midland Power, a local joint venture, yesterday signed an agreement with Rolls-Royce Bergen Engines AS to set up a plant at Ashuganj in Brahmanbaria that will generate 150 megawatt of electricity. The UK-based Rolls-Royce will supply machinery and offer technical support to Midland to set up the BDT 8.0 billion plant scheduled to go into operations by March next year. David Hasanat, chairman of Midland Power, and Jeff Elliott, managing director of Rolls-Royce Bergen Engines, signed the deal in Dhaka for the furnace oil-based power plant. Midland is a joint venture of Viyellatex Group and Shahjibazar Power, a sister concern of Youth Group. It is an independent power producer and has been supplying 51MW to the national grid since 2013.
Move to ascertain reasons for hiring foreigners in RMG sector
A coordinated move is ripe to ascertain reasons for hiring foreigners and their areas of work in Bangladesh’s apparel sector and prepare their local replacements to plug foreign-exchange outflows. Sources said the foreign-aided agenda for manpower transformation in the country’s main export industry follows reports that minimum US$5.0 billion in total flows out of the country annually in addition to job losses for the locals. The Centre of Excellence for Bangladesh Apparel Industry (CEBAI) is conducting a research titled ‘Employment of Expatriates and its Alternatives in the RMG Sector of Bangladesh’ under this move, they added.
Taiwan shows interest to produce plastic raw materials in BD
Taiwan has shown interest in investing in the country’s plastic sector especially in producing raw materials required for the industry. A visiting high-level Taiwanese delegation expressed the interest in a meeting with the leaders of Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA) at its headquarters in the city Wednesday. Headed by Taiwan External Trade Development Council chairman James CF Huang, the delegation is in Dhaka to explore the investment opportunities and relocation of their industries in the country, according to a statement. Bangladesh’s economy is growing faster in Asia and the country is a lucrative place for investment, BPGMEA president Md Jashim Uddin told the delegation. Some 5,000 plastic factories across the country were producing a wide range of plastic products like PVC pipe, hangers, household items, toys, poly bags, furniture, woven sack bags and packaging items, he added. The industry with an annual average growth rate of more than 20 per cent has created an employment for about 1.2 million, he said, explaining the opportunities to invest in the sector.
Local and Global Stock Indices
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$ 48.36||↓0.05||↓0.10%|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$ 52.24||↓0.03||↓0.06%|
|Gold Spot*||$ 1,288.33||↓2.63||↓0.20%|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days
|USD 1||BDT 80.85*|
|GBP 1||BDT 103.40*|
|EUR 1||BDT 95.42*|
|INR 1||BDT 1.26*|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.